Los Angeles at Colorado

Kings 5, Avalanche 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

DENVER -- Pavol Demitra has always had success against the Colorado Avalanche. That was in the best of days when they did have goalie troubles.

Demitra scored two goals and the Los Angeles Kings took advantage of poor goaltending to beat the Avalanche 5-3 on Wednesday night.

"I'll take teams like that with goalies like that any day," Demitra said. "It helps to win a game."

Demitra has 12 goals and 17 assists in 26 career games against the Avalanche. He padded his totals against the weak duo of Peter Budaj and David Aebischer.

"Pavol was quietly efficient," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "He had a quiet night with some points."

Michael Cammalleri and Lubomir Visnovsky added goals to help the Kings win for the sixth time in seven games. Tom Kostopoulos also scored for Los Angeles, which has won all three meetings with Colorado this season.

Mathieu Garon stopped 32 shots for his 16th win, outdueling both Avalanche counterparts.

"I thought we played hard and got ourselves back in the game," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "We stayed with it to the end."

But it was another game -- the second consecutive -- in which he was forced to pull an underachieving goalie.

Budaj was yanked 11 minutes in after surrendering two goals on four shots. Aebischer gave up three goals in 20 shots.

"(Pulling a goalie) is something you don't like doing," Quenneville said. "In the last game it worked, and tonight, it didn't."

Milan Hejduk scored two goals, and Brett McLean added one in the third period for Colorado, which has lost three of five.

Cammalleri, Visnovsky and Demitra scored in the first period to give the Kings a 3-1 lead. Budaj let Cammalleri's shot get between his skate and the left post at 8:30 for his seventh goal in nine games.

Visnovsky scored from the slot on a give-and-go with Derek Armstrong at 11:05, 15 seconds into a power play. Budaj was immediately replaced by Aebischer, the second time in two games the Avalanche made a change in the first period.

McLean's goal cut the Avalanche deficit to 2-1 at 18:59 on a rebound shot after Garon stopped Hejduk on a 2-on-1 break. Los Angeles regained a two-goal edge when Aebischer whiffed on Demitra's shot from just beyond the blue line with 21 seconds left in the period.

"It was a great goal," Demitra said sarcastically. "I tried to hit the puck as hard as I can. It was a knuckler that kept jumping."

"It was the biggest goal of the night," Murray said. "It came right after they had cut the lead and put them back on their heels."

Hejduk scored off a rebound of Rob Blake's shot with Colorado on the power play at 8:03 of the second period. Demitra countered with his second goal at 13:03 on a shot that caromed off the right post into the net to give Los Angeles a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.

Kostopoulos made it 5-2 when he broke free for a one-timer at 8:21 of the third period. Hejduk scored his second goal of the game at 12:38.


The Avalanche sent G Vitaly Kolesnik to Lowell of the AHL. ... D Aaron Miller was a scratch for the Kings because of a sore lower back. ... Aebischer was booed as he left the ice during the two intermissions.

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Los Angeles  (24-14-1) «3115
Colorado (19-16-3)1113
Three Stars
P. Demitra

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
M. Hejduk

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
M. Garon

Saves: 32
Save Pct.: .914

Related Video

Scoring Summary
08:30Michael Cammalleri (14), Snap Shot - Assists: Derek Armstrong and Lubomir Visnovsky
11:05Power Play - Lubomir Visnovsky (9), Slap Shot - Assists: Craig Conroy and Pavol Demitra
18:59Brett McLean (4), Snap Shot - Assists: Milan Hejduk and Pierre Turgeon
19:38Pavol Demitra (19), Slap Shot - Assist: Craig Conroy
08:03Power Play - Milan Hejduk (9), Tip-In - Assists: Rob Blake and Joe Sakic
13:03Pavol Demitra (20), Slap Shot - Assists: Mike Weaver and Tim Gleason
08:21Tom Kostopoulos (3), Snap Shot - Assists: Dustin Brown and Jeff Giuliano
12:38Milan Hejduk (10), Wrist Shot - Assists: John-Michael Liles and Pierre Turgeon
Penalty Summary
05:29Robitaille: Tripping - 2 min.
10:50Blake: Elbowing - 2 min.
15:32Vaananen: Tripping - 2 min.
00:05Boughner: Roughing - 2 min.
00:05Kostopoulos: Roughing - 2 min.
04:26Skrastins: Tripping - 2 min.
06:03Avery: Holding the stick - 2 min.
07:13Giuliano: High sticking - 2 min.
13:08May: Fighting - 5 min.
13:08Parros: Fighting - 5 min.
01:19Cammalleri: Slashing - 2 min.
05:51Hinote: Interference - 2 min.
08:35Svatos: Abusive Language(bench) - 2 min.
13:31Brisebois: Hooking - 2 min.
Los Angeles879 24
Colorado91214 35
Attendance - 18007
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Tim Peel, Dean Warren
Line Judges - Lyle Seitz, Mark Wheler
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